Tue | Sep 19, 2017

'We can do better' - Sterling hopes for Sunshine Girls improvement

Published:Saturday | May 13, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Sterling

Even though Shamera Sterling is 21 years, the defender who stands at 6 ft., one inch is already a senior among the Sunshine Girls.

One who has represented the country in netball at every level - under-13, under-16, under-21 - Sterling has been a member of the senior national team since age 15.

Her experiences have been plenty and against the world's top netball-playing countries, including Australia, New Zealand and England, who are ranked one to three, respectively.

Sterling reckons fourth-ranked Jamaica, who will host Barbados in a three-Test series from May 19-22, can attain a higher status through a combination of factors.

"Out of 10, I'd put it at eight," is how she rates the team's chances to become world number one. "We can do better if we have the resources and the right coach.

"Other top teams have match practise with other countries and among themselves, but we don't have that," she reasoned. "I think the difference between the other countries like New Zealand and Australia is that they have resources, and that's just it. I don't think they have anything over us, but a lot of resources that can fulfil their needs."

They will get an opportunity to strengthen in the upcoming series against Barbados, even though Sterling does not expect the competition to push them greatly.

Sterling was a member of the Sunshine Girls unit that won gold at the Vitality Series in England last year and she also won bronze with the Under-21 team at the World Youth Netball Championship in 2013 at Glasgow, Scotland.

Add to that a load of other medals won at U13, U16 and senior Caribbean tournaments through the years for the player who represented Anchovy, The Queen's School and Herbert Morrison Technical at high school level, then Waulgrovians club.

As she became a student at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sterling now plays with UWI Pelicans. It is an association which gives her the best of both worlds.

"I'm doing Literacy Studies, it's for primary education," she divulged.

"When I leave UWI hopefully I'll be teaching primary school students. I've a passion for kids, I love teaching kids, I love children overall, that's why I chose to teach either grades two or three."

On the other hand, it juggles nicely to fit her lifelong passion.

"I love the sport, I'd say netball is a nine out of 10 for me," said Sterling with a cheerful grin. "I'm young in the programme, I've many years to go."